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HOME arrow PATIENT & VISITORS arrow Patient Stories
Lois' Story

LoisQuality is everyone’s business at Spencer Hospital. From the nurses, clinicians and every employee to our patients and their families, everyone plays a role in making sure that care is provided in the safest environment possible with the most amount of care and Lois Morris trusts the people she knows to provide her care.


An occasional pain in the neck isn’t unusual for Lois Morris. As chief financial officer at Spencer Hospital, she spends a great deal of time over her computer, analyzing numbers. Plus, she’s the mother of three boys so the occasional stress that goes along with raising a high school student and two college boys can also cause tension in the neck muscles.


So, last January when she first started experiencing neck pain, she chalked it up as having been in a poor position while sleeping. But, the pain didn’t go away; it got worse.


“My neck pain progressed and then I started having ‘zingers’ down my arm to my fingers,” Lois recalled. “My symptoms progressed daily. Given that I have a family history of spine problems, I wasn’t surprised to learn my pain in the neck wasn’t just a temporary ache.”


Fortunately for Lois, spine specialist Dr. Will Shaffer had just joined the orthopedic team of Northwest Iowa Bone, Joint & Sports Surgeons. “I never considered going anywhere else for my care,” Lois said. “First, I’m confident in the reputation of Northwest Iowa Bone that I knew they wouldn’t invite someone to join their team who wasn’t a top-notch surgeon. Also, after meeting Dr. Shaffer I had complete confidence placing myself in his care. In addition to his vast experience, he also taught future surgeons for several years and he was great at explaining everything to me.”
Initially, Lois did physical therapy through the guidance of Spencer Hospital’s professional therapy team. “It’s typically protocol to try non-surgical interventions first for both costs and risks containment,” Lois said. “The physical therapy team was great and therapy provided some relief for my symptoms, but in the end, just helped buy a little time before the inevitable, which was surgery.”
Lois was diagnosed with a herniated disk. Dr. Shaffer performed a corpectomy in which he removed two disks and then fused the adjacent vertebrae. After surgery, Lois received care in the hospital a few days and also had some post-surgical physical therapy.
“The pain was gone immediately which was a huge relief,” Lois said. “The big plus for me was being able to stay here in Spencer, close to my family and friends. Going through surgery was necessary; however, being away from home was not. That made it a great experience.”